[Python-Dev] copy, len and the like as 'object' methods?

Paul Prescod paulp@ActiveState.com
Wed, 22 Aug 2001 10:56:33 -0800

Jeremy Hylton wrote:
> >>>>> "PP" == Paul Prescod <paulp@ActiveState.com> writes:
>   PP> My sense was "Second System Syndrome" but Damian Conway is
>   PP> confident that they don't have that problem.
> Isn't that one of the signs of the second system effect? <0.5 wink>
> Did he offer any reason for his confidence?

Nothing directly to that question (we ran out of time). But overall of
the Perl guys said things like:

 a) we're got a bunch smart people working on it (Larry, Damian, Dan,

 b) everything we're doing has been done somewhere before so it isn't
research (e.g. generators, proper exception handling, decent OO syntax,

 c) Perl 5 is a pretty complex system and people of similar caliber
built that so why should Perl 6 be any different 

 d) Perl 6's implementation will be so much cleaner than Perl 5's that
integration of parts will be a lot easier.

 e) we've set up all of these working groups to parallelize development
and that will help alot too.

I think that they are way too optimistic, but there were a few things I
learned that at least hinted in directions of sanity: Perl 5 support may
be provided through some sort of dual interpreter model rather than
trying to write a single interpreter that supports both. Dual
interpreters are pretty well understood (pyperl, jpe, Perl.NET etc.) So
"full backwards compatibility" may be possible using that trick. And
Damian is trying to talk Larry out of a strict requirement that the Perl
compiler be written in Perl.

Also, as David just said, you have to remember that Python people have a
much higher bar of coherence to jump over than the Perl guys. If they
put a bunch of random stuff in the language in a way that didn't really
feel right together -- then it would be just like Perl 5 only with more
features. Whereas we spend a week debating how the 'yield' keyword
should interact with the 'def' keyword.

Damian also said that Perl 6 has to be faster than Perl 5 or nobody will
use it.

Neil Bauman asked him why Perl wasn't being written in Perl (Neil's
opinion is that Perl is literally the greatest language ever created).
Damian responded with a great quote: "Performance. If Performance wasn't
an issue, I'd probably write Perl 6 in Python or something like it with
wonderfully beautiful OO abstractions and it would run like a dog."

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